On Friday 2 February 10,000 prospective students (some accompanied by their parents) came to Groningen to explore the city and find out more about the programme they are considering studying at the UG. Over 4,000 visited the science department in Antonius Deusinglaan, Bernoulliborg and the Energy Academy. They could attend various sample lectures and workshops.
The science programme fair in the foyer at Bernoulliborg proved popular, with the Science LinX permanent exhibition an instant draw. Some visitors built sculptures with magnets and spun the Ribo Wheel (an exhibit on protein synthesis). Others learned more about the nanotechnology research at the Faculty on the Nanophone. Those with a passion for biology were fascinated by the Bioglobes, sealed glass globes with a self-sustaining ecosystem. ‘They’re really alive!’ one visitor cried in surprise.
Groningen is a great student town, and this hasn’t escaped the notice of people outside the Netherlands. Sinan (17) comes from Turkey and wants to study Industrial Engineering. He and his mother are travelling through Europe to visit universities. ‘After today, Groningen is top of my list. It has a good mix of activities, cultures and restaurants.’
We always have lots of students from our neighbours in Germany. Tim (17) will soon be one of them. ‘I want to study psychology here but am still looking at other options.’ He wants to study abroad. ‘If you ask me, it’s a clear decision. I really like Groningen, despite it being a long way from home’, he says enthusiastically. ‘It’s exactly 300 km away from home’, his mother teases.
There is also interest in Groningen from the south. Kyara (17) lives in Brabant and wants to study biology. ‘I’m not a hundred percent sure if I’m going to study here, but Groningen is one of my top options.’
Quality is paramount for Milena (17) and Maria (17). They’ve come from Ukraine for information on the chemistry and pharmacy programmes. ‘Groningen is a good option because there’s lots of top research at the University.’ The possibility of bumping into famous figures is a bonus of course. ‘It would be amazing if we had lectures from Ben Feringa’, Maria enthuses.
Kyara from Brabant is also interested in Groningen because it’s one of the best universities for biology, although it will be a challenge. ‘Being taught in English will be extra hard for me because I’m dyslexic. But I think that working with foreign researchers will be a huge advantage.’
The earthquakes in Groningen were front-page news recently, but that hasn’t put off potential students. ‘I’m not scared at all’, says Kyara. Sinan has also heard about the earthquakes but doesn’t see them as a problem. ‘I looked into it and know that they are usually only felt outside the city. So it should be alright.’ Tim has a trump card to play. ‘His father’s a geologist. He’ll have to warn Tim before there’s an earthquake’, his mother laughs.
Anyone who is still unsure you can visit the last UG Open Day of this year on 14 April. Alternatively, you can register as Student for a Day or follow webclasses. And if you want to find out more about research at the Faculty, you can always visit our Permanent Exhibition in Bernoulliborg.
Text: Mónica Espinoza Cangahuala
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